April 23, 2019

G23: Tigers 7, Red Sox 4

Tigers  - 000 111 031 - 7 12  2
Red Sox - 002 001 001 - 4  5  0
Chris Sale (5-5-2-2-10, 97) was not economical with his pitches all afternoon and had trouble with the Tigers after his first time through the order. Sale did strike out two batters in each of his five innings, though. Colten Brewer (and, by extension, manager Alex Cora) let the game get out of hand in the eighth as Cora seemed reluctant to make a pitching change.

Sale allowed only a walk and a single in the first two innings, but threw 44 pitches. The Tigers fouled off 16 pitches in those two innings, and 25 in total off Sale.

By contrast, Matthew Boyd needed only 10 pitches in the first and four in the second. Still, Boston was first on the board. Christian Vazquez walked and Tzu-Wei Lin doubled to right in the third. Things looked bad as Sandy Leon grounded to third on the first pitch and Andrew Benintendi grounded back to the mound on the first pitch, but Mookie Betts rescued the inning by driving a hard ground ball into left for two runs.

Sale gave the lead right back. Ronny Rodriguez doubled in one run in the fourth and Grayson Greiner homered in the fifth. The teams traded solo home runs in the sixth, Rodriguez off Heath Hembree and Xander Bogaerts off Boyd (7-3-3-2-3, 87).

After Tyler Thornburg surprised me with a clean seventh, Brewer did not surprise me by walking the leadoff batter in the eighth. After Dustin Peterson flied to short right, Rodriguez and Harrison both doubled, making the score 5-3. I assumed that was it for Brewer, but Cora left him in to face two more batters. Greiner singled in another run and JaCoby JoNes grounded into a double play.

Bogaerts went deep again in the bottom of the ninth.

The Tigers came into this game with a .218 team batting average - and as many as 12 hits in only two of their 20 games. ... Make that three of 21 games. Detroit also got two RBI each from the six, seven, and eight spots in the their lineup.
Matthew Boyd / Chris Sale
Benintendi, LF
Betts, CF
Martinez, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Pearce, 1B
Chavis, 3B
Vázquez, DH
Lin, 2B
León, C
Last night's rainout is today's first game of a day-night doubleheader. The second game will start at 7 PM, as usual.

Manager Alex Cora on Sale:
We had two different opinions on his (last) outing — he felt like he disappointed him[self] and his family and I think he's close. Stuff-wise, he was great. He just misfired a few pitches ... I think he's very close to taking off. The velocity's there, the slider is there.
Before last night's game was postponed, Sale played catch in the Fenway Park concourse, where he could throw a decent distance without getting wet.

Nathan Eovaldi will have surgery today to remove "a loose body in his right elbow" and will miss four to six weeks. Eovaldi had difficulty straightening out his right arm after his start in New York last week. He underwent the same procedure last season and missed two months, but he was also recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time.

The Red Sox are 9-13, in fourth place, 5.5 games behind the Rays.

Twenty years ago today, Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in one inning. This article remembers that once-in-a-lifetime event, calculates the odds of it happening, and offers a list of the players who hit a grand slam and then came up later in the same inning with the bases loaded (and what they did).

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